Urlacher still headlines Bears official shop; cuddly Cutler toys too (photos)

Phil Emery tells why Chicago Bears fired Lovie Smith

And it had a lot of foot traffic through its Brian Urlacher themed entrance way. Tonight was Bears Family Fest a practice at Soldier Field that drew 29,000 people. Im not kidding, 29,000 people actually bought tickets for either $12 or $8 for practice. were talking about practice! (CC A.I.) And the Chicago Bears official pro shop at the home stadium seems unaware that Brian Urlacher is no longer with the team: On March 20, the Bears announced that Urlacher will not return in 2013 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. On May 22, 2013, Urlacher announced his retirement. He go is now an analyst for Fox Sports 1 which launches two weeks from now. And theres plenty of Urlacher merchandise still for sale too. Right when you walk in, there are #54 Urlacher kids jerseys for sale.

Bears’ Long: Time away set me back

50 Greatest Bears

It seems like a player with as much experience as he has shouldn’t have an issue beating out an undrafted second-year player and a rookie. Stock Up: Zack Bowman Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports When Tim Jennings was injured late last season, Kelvin Hayden got the nod to replace him. This week, however, it has been Bowman, according to ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson . Jennings has been excused from practice the last couple of days for personal reasons. Hayden has still been working as the Bears’ slot corner in their nickel package, but Bowman replaced him on the outside. Bowman was the Bears’ starting cornerback in 2009 when he intercepted six passes, however he’s struggled since then and has been relegated to special teams. Then-coach Lovie Smith gave him an opportunity to show he could still play the position at the end of the 2011 season, but he struggled. He then signed with the Minnesota Vikings , but they released him and he returned to Chicago last October. However, he was limited to the Bears’ special teams, even after Jennings was injured. Whether Bowman remains as the Bears’ third corner remains to be seen, but the Bears are giving him a chance.

cutler-urlacher

CDT, August 2, 2013 BOURBONNAIS The Chicago Bears added a linebacker to the fold Friday morning when Andrew Starks, an undrafted free agent from Princeton, was signed. Starks takes the place or kicker Austin Signor, who will be placed on waivers. The Bears had Starks, who hails from Plainfield, in their rookie minicamp in May on a tryout basis. He played in 39 games at Princeton and made 298 tackles, earning All-Ivy Second Team honors as a junior and senior. The Bears are down one linebacker right now with D.J. Williams week to week with a right calf muscle injury. Lance Briggs was given Thursday off in what the team called a veterans day off. But Briggs did get up a little slow after a play in Wednesdays practice. Signor, who kicked at Iowa and Eastern Illinois, was never going to challenge Robbie Gould, the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, for his job.

Chicago Bears: With Jon Bostic, nature should take its course

“There’s a ton of learning that’s been done in the last week. I feel like the growth has been exponential. But I’ve got to keep learning from the guys around me and keep immersing myself in that playbook. I was able to look in my playbook when I was home but I was not able to actually run through the plays. So getting out there and being physical and getting to see it right in front of me has actually been very helpful.” Long, drafted in the first round out of Oregon, was forced to skip the Bears’ offseason program as part of an NFL/NCAA rule that prohibits draft picks from participating until their college’s spring semester is complete. Long, who figures to start at right guard, still found a way to stay connected with the Bears during veteran minicamp, using Skype to sit in on meetings. He said relying on technique instead of just brute strength has been the biggest adjustment from college to the NFL for him. “In visit this page college I could just grab people and just kind of do what I wanted with guys,” Long said.

Chicago Bears’ Martellus Bennett Provides Relief For Overworked Brandon Marshall

“It’s just camp, that’s the way things are. But we’re a family and we’re brothers. Brothers sometimes fight. But we get through it.” Other training camp notes: Tight end Leonard Pope visited the Bears on Friday, and there’s a chance the team could sign him, judging by the fact it waived Brody Eldridge . A third-round pick from Georgia in 2006, Pope has played for the Arizona Cardinals , Kansas City Chiefs , and Pittsburgh Steelers . Cornerback Tim Jennings returned to practice after being excused the two previous days to tend to a family matter. With Charles Tillman receiving a day off to rest, Hayden played the starting cornerback opposite Jennings, which thrust second-year veteran Isaiah Frey into the nickel role.

Chicago veteran Pro Bowl player Julius Peppers helps carry defensive load for Bears

to 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network . Complete training camp coverage Despite Smith’s 81-63 record in Chicago, it’s not unusual for a new GM to handpick a coach of his own. Emery explained to SI’s Peter King why he fired Smith. “We were in a position where if he stayed, he would be picking his fifth offensive coordinator,” Emery said. “Part of it was because I really believe looking at a team that if you’re going to have success, the most important relationship is between the head coach and the quarterback.” Said Emery: “I like our quarterback.

Bears sign LB Starks

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Depending on what offense youre playing on, a tight end is supposed to block the linebacker and enhance the running game. If you can find someone who is athletic enough to trick the defense and get open to receive a pass, then youre on your way to become one of the greats. For Bennett, he is well on his way. Last year, while he was with the Giants, he had an average of 11.4 yards per reception, 35 receiving first downs, and five touchdowns. Bennett will be another weapon to use in Marc Trestmans new offense: a pass-friendly style of play that will provide Jay Cutler with another passing option. He will also be relieving Brandon Marshalls reception load. Marshall was targeted 194 times last season, many of which should have gone to a tight end.

Brawl livens up Bears practice

50 Greatest Bears

Hes moving well. He hasnt lost a step. The Bears defense has been bothered by injuries in training camp. Peppers enter his 12th season healthy after playing through nagging injuries the last two seasons. He was bothered by a foot injury last year and a knee injury in 2011. When Peppers came to Chicago, a reputation for taking occasional downs off followed him, despite making big plays. That distinction disappeared long ago.

Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago Bears Training Camp

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Like the Wildcat, every play the Bears experiment with the NFL’s latest fad is one less play the Bears utilize Cutler’s strengths — throwing on the run, not reading whether to run. The most egregious thing stems from the contradiction that the Bears’ entire offseason revolved around improving protection for Cutler when even one read-option play exposes him to an unblocked defender. “The thing about Jay on a read option, Jay knows how to get down,” Trestman said. Unless Trestman means Cutler getting down at ’80s parties, I suggest he watch more 2012 game tape. Cutler perhaps improved his ability to avoid contact but his instincts take over too often, as they did against the Texans. After Tim Dobbins clocked Cutler badly enough to cause a concussion, he fearlessly scrambled for an 11-yard gain the next play. He took six more snaps after that. He cannot be trusted to make prudent decisions to elude punishment. Let teams with quarterbacks whose legs pose as big a threat as their arms set league trends.

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